Why is it you can be the “whole package” but still not find a decent partner???

I’ve blogged on this topic a few times, I would post about it more often except I’m not exactly sitting in the right spot to do so.  Meaning, I’ve been with my man, in seventeen days, for thirty years, save for a brief separation where we both dated other people, which was fourteen years ago.  I know NOTHING, except what I read, what my two single daughters share with me, and what my single girlfriends disclose about being single and dating in today’s world.  So I generally stay away from this topic since I’m far from an expert on the subject.

Except when I’m asked to discuss it.  When I’m asked to chat about it I will.  Again, I’m still not a psychologist, or an expert on dating trends but, you know me, I’ll rarely shy away from giving my opinions on anything.  Which brings me to today’s post.

Earlier this week I received a text message from one of my daughter’s oldest girlfriends.  This girl/woman now, is that girl.  The one who is a force to be reckoned with.  She’s confident.  She’s extremely intelligent.  She’s gregarious.  She’s kind.  She’s thoughtful.  She’s independent.  She’s wildly successful in her field, and, to cap it off, she is truly one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen.  Like I mean, EVER seen.  She’s the whole package.

She’s not the sort of women you might see, lounging around on a yacht, using her youth, and her beauty to lure a rich man into falling in her love with her.  This girl isn’t looking for that.  What she is looking for is an equal partner (she’s already gone the dead beat, mooch off her route, and that wasn’t fun), so now she’s looking for her forever lover/soul mate/partner husband.

But, she can’t find him.  Like my two single daughters, and all my super groovy, bad ass, talented, brilliant single friends, she too feels “un-dateable” as she is.  Which is ridiculous, but true.  She had one question for me; “what is your theory on why successful and attractive women can’t land a man?”

For me, this is a head scratcher.  My immediate response to her is; I have no idea why, it really makes no sense to me why so many incredible women are sitting alone on a Friday night, while a great deal of other women, aren’t.

But theories I do have, and here are some of them.

  1.  Regardless of how amazing you truly are, I do believe that many people, male and female have serious FOMO (fear of missing out)due to social media.  You can be somebody’s entire package, you may even tick off every single box on what they believe is their ideal partner.  But their heads are on a swivel; “what if that person I follow on Instagram, who posts like they’re super cool, and EVEN MORE of what I want in a partner becomes available to me???”  Those of you who have been reading me for a while, know that I blame social media for a great many sins, and this, this thinking that there are going to be partners out there that are better for you than the actual living breathing person beside you, to me, is the worst.  It’s given many people the idea that they can do better, because they’re better, and they deserve better.  This is theory number one.
  2.  Life is way more expensive than it has ever been before.  Housing costs do not align with wages.  Food costs don’t either.  Plus there are fewer jobs out there that pull in salaries good enough to cover it all.  So, what I’ve noticed is that most people are a) living at home with their families longer, which isn’t exactly conducive to robust adult relationships which rolls into b) they’re settling down older.  This trend means that young women, like my daughter’s girlfriend, who are more than ready, both financially and emotionally to settle down, have fewer quality men to pick from.
  3. In her message to me she shared that men are so intimidated by her, that she has started to lie about what she does for a living.  No joke.  In order to “land a man” she feels like she has to tell them that she is a receptionist rather than the high powered, successful, independent woman that she is.  Are you KIDDING ME?  Are some men so fragile that all that she is, is just too much for them and they cannot accept her truth?  Why?  Don’t people want a content, solid, equal load carrying, self sufficient, financially independent partner to share their lives with???  Even within her career, on a daily basis men try to “school her” on her work.  They attempt, without fail to catch her not knowing as much about her job as they, the customer does.  It’s a mess.

Does she have these experiences because men want their beautiful women to be “seen and not heard?”

Does she have this trouble because men don’t want to be asked to be their best selves in a relationship, so therefore they tend to want to date beneath them so that their masculinity is never questioned??

Or, is it simply that this awesome woman is looking in all the wrong places for the right person???

Things that make me go “hmmm” indeed…


  1. I didn’t date much in high school, and always wondered why. I didn’t date much in University (until third year, when I met my guy), and I always wondered why. Actually, what I wondered during that time wasn’t “why”, but rather “Why don’t guys like me? I’m funny. I’m smart. I’m independent. I’m cute. I’m a cheerleader. I’m president of the student council. I’m in the band. I’m in the musical. I make my own money … oh, wait … I get it …” Yes, I had TONS of guy FRIENDS but nobody would ask me out romantically. I’m lucky that I ended up with my guy (first as a guy friend, but that blossomed into a 30-years-so-far relationship) but he’s the kind of guy who was not easily intimidated. He *liked* all those things in me. He valued all of that in a person, and it did not scare him.

    All of this is to say that 1) I’d like to think that Answer #3 isn’t the answer, but I think that it is, and 2) there ARE men out there that are not only not intimidated but value successful and inspiring women, and 3) they are, sadly, few and far between. I wish all of these women the very best of luck, and I do hope that they are continuing to enjoy their lives and DON’T make adjustments to suit someone else. You are fabulous exactly how you are!

  2. I’m 72, married 52 years, so I’ve seen really big changes in our male/female roles, basically during the 60’s and 70’s. We were all sure that my friend’s relationship was doomed. She had a great job, personality, etc and he was unemployed. But you know 40+ years and two very well adjusted children they are still together. He was a bit of a free spirit and a great house husband. They have properties that he manages and she retired early. Think it’s all about sharing common goals and respect of the other’s individual interests. Most of all, it’s having someone that will, as in our case be there for the oncologist, urologist or cardiologist appointments.

  3. I have been thinking about this post a lot, because I have 2 daughters (although a few years away from having to worry about lifelong partners).

    I agree with most people in the comments that men are threatened by strong, independent, outspoken (?) women. I read a very interesting article in the New York Times about porn and I wonder if that may also be part of it. It is similar to social media and the FOMO. It is sad that young people are “learning” sex from these distorted forms on the internet. I am going to try to attach the article, but not sure it will post correctly.

    Thanks for always making me/us think! I wish them all love. xo

  4. I’d love to say that she only has to do “this”, BUT I can’t. Sexism is still alive and well, which baffles the shit out of me considering how women have risen in careers and most must work!
    I know I went off here but I believe the answer for her is NEVER change who you are just to get a partner. You’ll never tick all the boxes off for things you want in a partner, but one of the important things, like your success, must be top of the list. If you hit 80% AND this most important aspect of you, then go for it, otherwise, move on. He’ll come! Have faith and stick to your beliefs it will happen!

  5. Roles have changed for men. The modern successful woman who is the full.package is intimidating for a man. The man may not know his place any longer. Men used to be the ‘smarter’ sex, the breadwinner with the successful high profile careers. Women have had more opportunities in the last many few years and this trend will continue. As women becomes more independent, I think the role of a traditional man is not so clearly defined. I believe that many men settle for women who are less successful than they are to let themselves feel superior. They are not willing to have an equal partnership in the relationship…

  6. Hmmm, yes. Point #3 here I can relate with the most, Especially working in a male oriented profession. Love this post!

  7. I would bet good money, that ‘3’ is the true answer. A lot of men feel emasculated by the modern woman. Also, they are confused as all get-out by her. Because, what strings are he supposed to play, when she can pay her own drinks/dinner/tickets, when she gets offended if he holds the door or chair for her (yup, some women object to this)? Women have gone through an enormous evolution over the past 100-120 years, but no one has really thought to educate men on how to find their new space. So some men try to strong-arm all women (which won’t work on a modern woman), some men will try to mooch off her (again: not good in the long run), and some will simply throw up their hands, and find themselves a woman who isn’t as driven by ambition/talent (or who has repressed that side of herself – for now). The man who can stand up to, and deal with the accomplished young woman is a rare beast.
    I also think, that some women have gotten so used to fighting for what they have, that they have difficulty with the concept of compromise, making them seek out excellence in all aspects. And while there is nothing wrong with wanting the best, perhaps what actually IS the best needs to be looked at. Does the perfect man exist? Not likely. Does the perfect man for YOU exist? He very well may, if you’re ready to compromise on some details.
    Good luck to her!

  8. I wish I could give advice. the only thing I would say is thast she needs to be who she IS. And not try to be something less. If a man is intimidated by you, he is NOT a man you are looking for. I have been out of the dating game for over 50 years now, lucky enough to meet and marry my life partner, so I wouldn’t even know where to look, I will say that My daughter was lucky enough to find a wonderful man through one of the better known dating sites. I do think that was a fluke, But it he is still great. I do think social media is not the answer. Maybe a group with similar interests that actually meets face to face. Maybe to travel.

  9. I’m no expert either, but if I were looking, I’d go the educated man route, not the businessman route. I’d look for a man who knew the world was bigger than his ambitions, who was involved in some kind of giving and serving of causes bigger than himself. There are a lot of shallow people out there. Maybe she needs to look on different places and not necessarily online either.

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